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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2006, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Kiwis close door on Paul return
Henry Paul in action for New Zealand in 1999
Paul played for New Zealand in the 2000 World Cup
New Zealand coach Brian McClennan has effectively ruled out bringing Henry Paul back into the Kiwi set-up.

Paul won 23 caps for New Zealand before switching codes in 2000, going on to win six caps for England in union.

The Harlequins star, 32, has returned to league and is eligible for either New Zealand or Great Britain for the 'XXXX' Test at St Helens on 27 June.

"We've got to pick players who can play in the Tri-Series or World Cup so we're going to be ruthless," said McClennan.

"There's a chance for all the boys playing here but we've always got to keep the 2008 World Cup in mind and I think Britain should do that too."

McClennan confirmed the Kiwis would definitely receive caps if they played against Britain.

There had been doubts as to whether the match would be a full Test because of the likely composition of the New Zealand side.

We've got to get our future right
New Zealand coach Brian McClennan

With the NRL clubs in Australia unwilling to release big-name players in the middle of the season, New Zealand's side is set to be made up of a mixture of British-based and development players.

Shontayne Hape (Bradford), Paul Rauhihi (Warrington), Motu Tony (Hull), Stacey Jones (Catalans), David Solomona (Wakefield) and Ali Lauitiiti (Leeds) will all feature after playing in New Zealand's Tri-Nations campaign last year.

Jason Cayless (St Helens) and Lesley Vainikolo (Bradford) are also set to return after injury, while Iafeta Paleaaesina (Wigan), Vinnie Anderson, Francis Meli (St Helens) and Logan Swann (Warrington) will have the chance to impress.

"We want to compete really well in this match but we've also got to get our future right," added McClennan.

"This has become a very important part of our build-up for the Tri-Series. It's a good positive step. The more internationals we can have, the better.

"Great Britain and New Zealand need them if we are to be more competitive against Australia, who have the State of Origin series to hold their national team in good stead."

SEE ALSO
Paul stays silent on Lions talk
05 May 06 |  International
Paul in frame for Great Britain
02 May 06 |  International
Paul rues missed England chance
29 Apr 06 |  Internationals
Paul returns to league with Quins
27 Apr 06 |  Harlequins


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